Phillies: Aaron Nola arrives to summer camp in South Philly

Starting pitcher Aaron Nola #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Starting pitcher Aaron Nola #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /

Phillies ace starting pitcher Aaron Nola has arrived to the team’s summer camp

Could Philadelphia Phillies right-handed pitcher Aaron Nola be the team’s Opening Day starter for the third straight season after all?

On Monday, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark tweeted a picture showing that Nola has arrived to the team’s summer camp in South Philadelphia. Nola later threw a bullpen session. Just one day prior, closer Hector Neris, one of the Phillies’ four players reportedly on the COVID-19 Injured List, was also spotted at Citizens Bank Park. He has yet to be activated.

In conversation with reporters on Monday, Nola said he was absent from the team after being exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. He isolated for seven days and tested negative before reporting to summer camp.

Testing has become a highly discussed topic in MLB, particularly as it relates to getting results back. The Houston Astros and Washington Nationals canceled their workouts on Monday due to testing delays; the Oakland A’s are experiencing similar issues, which The Athletic’s Jayson Stark notes could cancel games if they continue during the season. Manager Joe Girardi says the Phillies have yet to experience this issue.

Five other Phillies have yet to report to summer camp: southpaw Ranger Suarez (COVID-19 IL), utility player Scott Kingery (COVID-19 IL), right-handed reliever Tommy Hunter (COVID-19 IL), outfielder Adam Haseley and non-roster invitee catcher Christian Bethancourt.

Haseley and Bethancourt have yet to report due to undisclosed COVID-19 protocols, but have not been played on the COVID-19 Injured List.

Players can be placed on the list if they either: tested positive, showed symptoms, or came in contact with an infected person.

Nola has been working out in the area while waiting to hear when he can report to summer camp at Citizens Bank Park. It appears he finally received the OK on Monday, just hours before the team’s 60-day schedule is set to be released.

With Zack Wheeler, a fellow top-of-the-rotation Phillies pitcher, uncertain about playing in the upcoming season, it is certainly a great sign to see Nola back with the team. Opening Day is slated for July 24 at home against the Miami Marlins.